Whanganui High School

Whanganui High School is a large and popular co-educational school offering an extensive range of subjects.

We have a proven record of academic excellence with our students passing up to 20% above the New Zealand average. The emphasis in the senior school is on preparing students for a university education.

Whanganui is a small river city with an attractive lifestyle in which to study. It has a strong sense of community and is one of the prettiest cities in New Zealand. There are good swimming beaches and the mountains and ski slopes are only one and a half hours away. Whanganui High School specialises in Outdoor Education, many outdoors sports and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award to Gold. Please see www.whanganuihigh.school.nz/curriculum/sports

Whanganui High School is also strong in visual and performing arts regularly placing near the top if not first in national competitions. Please see www.whanganuihigh.school.nz/curriculum/performing-arts

Helpful information


The grounds are spacious with modern well-planned buildings and specialised facilities which include brand new tennis courts, an excellent library, three sports gymnasiums, a performing arts suite and stage, science laboratories, computer suites, technology suites for visual arts, textiles, food, materials and automotive. There is also a purpose built International-ESOL Suite for pastoral, language and academic support.

Academic programme

Students select seven subjects from over 60 available including all the Sciences, Psychology, Photography, Digital Technology and Cooking (Please see www.whanganuihigh.school.nz/curriculum/options-for-2017).

We teach six languages as a second language including Maori, English, Mandarin (Chinese), Spanish and French. We can arrange Latin lessons out of school time, but at extra cost. We also offer an excellent Outdoor Education programme, a Sports Science programme and the music department has its own recording studio. International Students also enjoy taking creative subjects such as Art, Art Design, Design and Visual Communication and Fashion and Textile Design.

Outdoor education

As well as a general Outdoor Education class, we have a special Conservation NZ class, which is two thirds outdoor education and one third conservation studies. This class has trips most weeks and the course can be completed in half a year. Students do kayaking, high ropes, sailing, mountain biking as well as tramping in the bush. The programme highlight is the Tongariro Crossing. Many of our school sports are outdoors oriented. Adventure Racing includes racing in multiple outdoors sports such as mountain biking, canoeing, high ropes, sailing, cross country and others.


International Students are encouraged to play sport although participation is optional. The school has nine hectares of grounds including beach volleyball courts, all weather tennis courts, football fields, and three gymnasiums. There is a heated indoor pool across the road from the school.  Sports that are strong at Whanganui High School include rugby, football, basketball, hockey, rowing, and tennis but there is the opportunity to play almost every sport. Please see www.whanganuihigh.school.nz/curriculum/sports

Performing arts

We have a strong music and drama department at Whanganui High School with passionate teachers of Dance, Drama and Music. There are many different kinds of performing arts extra-curricular activities you can join in too; Cultural Festival, Stage Challenge, the School Production to mention just a few. Please see www.whanganuihigh.school.nz/curriculum/performing-arts.


All International Students live in homestays providing total English immersion in a family environment. The school carefully selects and manages all homestays with regular contact to ensure both student and parents are happy.

Featured Video

A snapshot of a few things you can do at Whanganui High School.


Address: 70 Purnell St, Whanganui 4500, New Zealand
Website: http://www.whanganui-high.school.nz/


To enrol in this school, download the form below, complete and return to ISENZ.

Download ISENZ Enrolment Form (PDF)

Email a completed and scanned copy to russell@isenz.com.

Or post a completed copy to:
Russell Trethewey
PO Box 5329, Terrace End
Palmerston North, New Zealand

Find out more

For more information about this school, please contact ISENZ.